The best comic covers accomplish more than simply creating a visual doorway to lead the reader into the book’s interiors. In the following gallery, Paste sought out the jackets that managed to encapsulate an entire work’s story, tone and theme within one image. It’s a helluva Venn Diagram to straddle, but multiple artists pulled it off with flying colors this year. If you’ve been paying attention to our monthlycomiccovergalleries, you probably noticed that we’ve been fawning over creators like Jae Lee and Mike Del Mundo for quite some time. They star heavily in this gallery, as do Jock, Fiona Staples, and a few more. These illustrators and many more made it very easy to judge a book by its cover over the past 12 months.